Clippings

In his article “Wild Goose Chase” (based off his book), Mark Batterson challenges the institutionalized church by asking the question:  Have we clipped the wings of the wild goose (a.k.a. The Holy Spirit) and settled for something less–much less–than the spiritual adventure God originally intended?

Here are a few talking points from this article found in the Catalyst GroupZine (Volume 4):

  • Following The Holy Spirit can be about “circumstantial uncertainty.”
  • “If you describe your relationship with God as anything less than adventurous, then maybe you think you are following the Spirit but you have settled for something less–something I call inverted Christianity.”
  • “Too often we take people out of their natural habitat and try to tame them in the name of Christ.  We try to remove the risk.  We try to remove the danger.  We try to remove the struggle.  And what we end up with is a caged Christian.”
  • “Jesus died to make us dangerous.”
  • “What is most lacking in the church of Jesus Christ is not education or resources.  Of course we should keep learning, but most of us are educated way beyond the level of our obedience…You know what is most lacking?  Good old-fashion guts.”
  • “We need people who are more afraid of missing opportunities than making mistakes.”
  • In his book, Batterson reveals six cages that prevent us from riding the “wild goose.”  Those cages are:  fear, routine, responsibility, guilt, assumptions (i.e. “I’m too old”), & failure.

So, if you have read the book, article, or breezed over these highlighted statements, what is your assessment of Batterson’s point?  How would you summarize your theological and personal “take away?”

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~ by Dave Smith on February 12, 2009.

4 Responses to “Clippings”

  1. I live by Quail Hollow State Park, and wild geese just flew overhead…honking, like they do. I took it as a prompting to comment as the Rev. Dr. DKS requested. My personal “take away” (and theological as well, since I do not separate the two) from Batterson’s article is that I need to be more sensitive to the call and nudging of the Holy Spirit in my life. I need to be more comfortable with the circumstantial uncertainty in my life. And, I need to practice solitude and silence more regularly in order to tune my heart to know the call of the “Wild Goose” when I hear it…

  2. You are such a good student Chip! :>)

    Here are my takeways. Please correct me where needed!

    Imbalanced View of The Holy Spirit: Due to past, sensationalized movements “in the name of the Holy Spirit,” the conservative, evangelical church has overcompensated, seeing the Holy Spirit as a subtle power or force instead of a distinct person of God integral to our everyday faith.

    Pick & Choose Approach: Maybe we have picked which aspects we want of Him? We embrace His ability to teach or illuminate Scripture, bear witness, intercede on behalf of us, grieve for the sinner, and distribute gifts…but have we ignored His ability to forbid certain activities while approving other paths? Maybe we like to see Him as someone internally passive, but not externally active within our lives?

    Comforter, But Not Counselor: We see in John 14:26 that Jesus describes the Holy Spirit with the term Parakletos, meaning “counselor” and “comforter.” Have we embraced The Holy Spirit as the “comforter,” seeing him as the consistent presence and power of God within us (like a young child’s “blankey”), but have neglected the “counselor” aspect in following his gentle advice and leading on needed decisions and paths to be taken in our lives?

    Walking vs. Rock Climbing: We must be careful in assuming that everything associated with the Spirit is a romanticized adventure. Sure, when we see the external ramifications of following The Spirits leading, it can sometimes be exciting and dangerous. The caution comes when we force that same experience within the sanctification process of our lives. We are called to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal 5:16), and walking isn’t exciting (in earthly terms), and nor are the results of this walking: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. (Gal 5:22-23)

    However, the results of this sanctification should lead us to greater obedience in God. When that truly happens, there is no telling where He will take us if we are willing to follow. (NOTE: Flowing a Spirit’s prompting through scripture and wise counsel isn’t always overly cautious, but just simply being biblical.)

    Quenching Comes In All Forms: Just like our comfort can prevent us from following the Spirit’s leading, our thirst for adventure can also prevent us from following the Spirit’s leading, having us dictate our “dangerous path” instead of Him.

    Adventures In Boredom: “Dangerous” and “adventurous” are subjective terms when viewed through a spiritual lens. The lowly, indecisive, and “boring” times of life may be just the adventure God is asking us to enter into.

    Prosperity Gospel Prevention: The dangerous or adventurous paths we take in following the Spirit doesn’t ensure a happy or “positive” ending.

    *The bottom line is that we are creatures of habit that easily place ourselves in positions of mental and spiritual comfort, quieting the Spirit’s leading to move off our patterned rails. We need continual moments of reexamination, ensuring a true “drunkenness” (Eph. 5:18) or control of the Holy Spirit. Reminders like Batterson’s assist in self-evaluation, countering the current, comfortable, Christian culture we all exist within.

  3. You are like Rush Limbaugh, i.e. once you have spoken on a subject, there’s not much else to say…

  4. Hey now…I had that door open for over a week! :>)

    You are too much. That is a little scary you just compared me to Rush Limbaugh!!! I’d prefer Robert Siegel!

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